Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Fisherman clinging to buoy rescued

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A fisherman is recovering after being pulled from the sea off Ireland where he was heard screaming for help while he clung to a buoy marking lobster pots.

A mother and son were tending sheep in fields beside Tullagh beach near Clonmany on the Inishowen peninsula, north Donegal, when they heard his shouts for help and saw him.

The local volunteer RNLI Lough Swilly lifeboat crew were alerted yesterday lunchtime and took the man on to the beach.

Crew member Joe Joyce said the lifeboat was on the scene within minutes but the man was extremely lucky to have been saved.

"This man was very fortunate that his cries for help were heard by the mother and her son at Tullagh," he said.

A local fishing boat responded to the mayday calls after Malin Head Coast Guard took the alarm call.

The RNLI said the mother and son who initially raised the alert were able to guide the other fishermen to the buoy which the man was clinging to.

They pulled the fisherman, who had a lifejacket on, from the freezing water.

Mr Joyce said: "Once they raised the alarm, help was at hand within minutes. From the arrival of the local fishing vessel, to the fast response of the lifeboat crew and Coast Guard, everyone worked together to help the casualty.

"We wish him a full recovery from his ordeal and we thank all the members of the public who had such a vital role in this rescue operation."

Three minutes after his rescue the RNLI had him in their boat, wrapped him in blankets and took him to shore where the Coast Guard helicopter landed near the sheep farmer's field to bring him to hospital.

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